The road to getting yourself mentally and physically stage-ready for a fitness and figure competition is full of hard work and detailed preparation. This is a road less traveled and worth the effort. Hours spent in the gym, attention to diet, and everything in between will result in peaking at a time when it matters most. Those who create a solid plan and stick to it will be rewarded when it comes time to step on stage.
This article will share information on a few key topics to help with body transformation to make sure you’re ready for your Fitness And Figure Competition!
Drinking Enough Water
Traditionally, those who compete in fitness and figure competitions have reduced water intake to avoid a bloated look leading up to competitions. While this might sound like good advice, the reality is water intake shouldn’t be decreased during training—the benefits of consuming water far outweigh any negatives.
If you’re training hard in the gym, you’re losing a lot of water through sweat. Keeping yourself hydrated is crucial for maintaining daily metabolic processes and avoiding dehydration, which is not good in any scenario. Proper hydration optimizes athletic potential, boosts energy levels, allows the heart to work more efficiently, improves muscle function and mental clarity.
Dehydration can negatively impact physical and mental performance.
Negative impacts of dehydration include:
- Decreased sweat rate impacts body temperature regulation.
- A reduction in blood volume causes an increase in blood pressure.
- Decreased heat distribution
- Increased rate of muscle glycogen use leads to early muscle fatigue.
Water also can be a tool to use to stave off cravings. Using water to curb your appetite temporarily is very effective since water is zero cal beverage. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, consuming an adequate amount of water before, during, and after your training sessions will keep you hydrated and help increase your feelings of fullness to avoid consuming excess calories.
The simplest way to make sure you’re consuming enough water is to carry a reusable water bottle with you and sip on it regularly throughout the day. When it’s empty, fill it up and keep sipping. Monitor the color of your urine to ensure that it remains on the clear side. If urine starts to take on a golden yellow or darker appearance, you might be dehydrated or heading for dehydration.
The most effective tactic for rehydrating is never allowing your body to enter into a state of extreme dehydration in the first place. Keep drinking water regularly!
Getting Enough Sleep
Sleep is arguably the most underrated strategy for maximizing muscle growth, fat loss, recovery, and improving performance. Sleep deprivation is associated with weight gain, stress hormones (cortisol levels), and irregularity with leptin, the appetite-suppressing hormone.
Lack of sleep impacts feelings of hunger. People who fall short on sleep tend to consume more calories than those who do not. Irregular sleep patterns can also lead to eating more for pleasure. With nutrition being crucial to optimizing physique, you might be leaving a lot on the table and exposing yourself to temptation with non-nutritious food choices and a higher calorie intake leading to your fitness and figure competition.
The sweet spot for nighttime sleep will vary from person to person, but a good target goal should be at least eight hours per night. During sleep, the body and brain are allowed time to repair and recharge. With the aggressiveness of training leading into a fitness and figure competition, giving your body the best chance to recover is critical.
Limiting exposure to blue light emitting devices (phones, tablets, and TVs) along with keeping a cool and dark bedroom are a few good ways to create a good sleep routine.
Cooking At Home
Cooking at home is a fundamental skill and strategy used by high successful individuals who compete in Fitness And Figure Competitions. When you’re cooking at home, you’re in complete control of all ingredients and portion sizes. You’re also able to leverage bulk preparation of food which further increases the convenience of performance-based eating, portion sizes, and tailoring macronutrients to your goals.
Across the long term, cooking at home provides cost savings over eating out. Eating out is incredibly expensive compared to preparing meals at home, anywhere from 4-5x more expensive. Saving money without sacrificing nutritional quality allows you to free up cash for other things that may be needed for your fitness and figure competition such as entry fees, supplements, and gym memberships.
If you’re looking to lean out, a caloric deficit is necessary. You need to consume fewer calories than your body burns to maximize fat loss. Being in a caloric deficit can lead to feelings of sluggishness, tired and unmotivated. This isn’t a guarantee, but it’s expected when you’re using more energy than you’re putting into your system. Refeeds provide a scheduled periodic break from a diet that can help boost hormone levels and get you back to burning fat quickly.
Refeeds decrease the body’s adaptive responses to chronic caloric restriction and relieve you from the strictness of dieting without destroying your progress. From a psychological standpoint, refeeds encourage you to stick to your diet long-term since you know you’re going to have an uptick in calories a few days per week.
Including a few days of refeeds each week can you give me something to look forward to while dieting, boosting energy and keeping you lean!
Creating A Solid Plan
Failing to plan is planning to fail. If you’re looking to build your best physique, there’s no question creating a solid plan and sticking to it day in and day out will lead you to the best possible outcome. Streamlining your approach and automating the tactics you deploy to build your physique will allow you to feel stage-ready when the time comes! Refeeds, adequate water intake, proper sleep, and leveraging the advantages of cooking at home are strategies used by top bodybuilding competitors.
If you’re looking for professional physique guidance to prepare for your next Fitness And Figure competition, check out Sacramento’s premier personal training team at Iron Minds and Bodies. Our team is experienced in coaching clients to achieve their dream physique!